BELLE CHASSE, La. (WGNO) — On Friday morning, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NAS JRB) New Orleans held a change of command ceremony. Unlike every other change of command ceremony at NAS JRB, this one was special, as Captain Lena Kaman became the first female commanding officer at the installation.
Captain Kaman previously served on the staff of the Chief of Navy Reserve in the Legislative Affairs Directorate, prior to reporting to NAS JRB New Orleans in June as the prospective Commanding Officer.
Captain Lena Kaman said, “I do recognize that I’m a role model to not only everyone, but specifically minority groups especially females and I embrace the role. To all the little girls at home there are barriers and challenges but you can break those barriers and you can overcome those struggles.”
Captain Lena Kaman will be relieving Captain Todd Bruemer. Captain Bruemer became the air station`s commanding officer on July 26, 2020. He led the installation through two major hurricanes, the COVID-19 outbreak, and hosted a successful air show in March 2022.
Captain Bruemer is moving on and will be reporting to Navy Reserve Region Readiness and Mobilization Command Jacksonville, Florida, as the prospective Commanding Officer.
“It has been an honor to work with you during the challenges we’ve faced,” Captain Bruemer said.
NAS JRB New Orleans is one of only two joint air reserve military bases in the United States. The primary mission of NAS JRB New Orleans is to provide operational and training environments for active duty and reserve components from all branches of the armed service while sustaining the full spectrum of combat, peacetime, and humanitarian operations.
The base also serves as a platform for assistance with homeland security air defense through the Louisiana Air National Guard, as well as search and rescue efforts for much of the Gulf Coast by U.S. Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans.